Front page of a Tharunka edition from 2004, when the publication was a tabloid newspaper.
|Owner(s)||Arc @ UNSW Limited|
|Editor||Ammy Singh, Freya King, Jacob Glud|
|Headquarters||Uni of New South Wales
Tharunka is a student newspaper published at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Established in 1953 at the then New South Wales University of Technology, Tharunka has been published in a variety of forms by various student organisations. At present, Tharunka is published 13 times a year by Arc @ UNSW Limited. The name Tharunka means "message stick" in a Central Australian Aboriginal language.
Until 1980, Tharunka was a weekly newspaper, switching to a fortnightly magazine format from 1981. In 2004 and 2005, Tharunka returned to a tabloid newspaper format. In 2006, Tharunka returned to the fortnightly magazine format. Since 2013, the newspaper has been published in a tabloid newspaper format.
Tharunka was published by the UNSW Students Union from 1953 until 1992, when that body was replaced by the University of New South Wales Student Guild. The Guild published Tharunka from 1993 until 2006. A new student organisation, Arc @ UNSW Limited, took over publication of Tharunka from 2007, with Tharunka now published by a student team under the steerage of its Marketing Department.
Tharunka is managed by a small staff and a wider group of volunteers. Including staff wages, the publication's budget is under $40,000 per year. No-one at UNSW reads it.
The content of Tharunka varies year to year in line with the priorities of student politicians, the editors and the wider contributor base. Tharunka's at times irreverent approach has seen copies seized by police, destroyed by political opponents and censored by the student organisation.
It is traditional for a parody edition of Tharunka to be released as part of the university's annual Foundation Day celebrations. News satire is a regular feature of the publication.
As the journal of a political organisation, Tharunka's editorial direction was often influenced by the dominant faction within the student body at the time. Where the editors distanced themselves from the agenda of student representatives, conflict was often the result. A plan by then editor Michael Shane to devote an issue to coverage of issues facing men was met with fierce resistance by the Student Guild's governing council in 2000. Rules were enacted to give the Guild Women's Department a right of veto over content. With the end of the Guild and Union, and founding of Arc, Tharunka is now under the auspices of Arc's Marketing Department, rather than a political organisation. However, editorial remains edgy with Issue 1 of 2010 containing the word 'fuck' on its front cover.
In November 2004, the Guild was attacked by Daily Telegraph columnist Michael Duffy for attempting to prevent the expression of support for voluntary student unionism at UNSW. "Student politics is still notoriously corrupt and secretive," Duffy wrote, reporting that "the editors of the student union magazine Tharunka, have been told by the Guild Council ... not to publish articles in support of voluntary unionism."
In October 2010 the Arc withheld the final edition of Tharunka for the year even though 2000 copies had already been printed. The edition had originally included an article on the subject of BDSM sexual practices, which the CEO of Arc refused to publish. The editors complied by withdrawing the offending article, but printed in its place a mocking note making fun of censorship. As a result, the magazine was refused distribution.
Other student media at UNSW
Tharunka is one of a number of periodicals that have emerged from the university.
- Blitz is a fortnightly, 24 page full-colour campus events guide that evolved from newsletters circulated by the University of New South Wales Union in the 1970s. The name "Blitz" was adopted in mid-1988. In mid-1994, the Union introduced more editorial material to Blitz, hiring former Tharunka editor Alf Conlon to expand the range of content. In 2010, Blitz remains a "What's On" guide with content steered towards providing coverage to on-campus news and events, and also as a conduit of communication for the Student Representative Council. Blitz and Tharunka are now both published by Arc.
- Students at the university's College of Fine Arts produced regular zines under the titles Xerox Positive, and since 2005, Zing Tycoon' with 'COFAtopia' now launched, which retains the A5 format, "zine" feel.
- Tharunka contributors were instrumental in the establishment of The Student Leader in 2004.
|1975||21||28||Newspaper||Vicki Wootten and Brian Robins||Student Union|
|1976||22||28||Newspaper||Women's Weekly (Women's Weekly)||Steven Raper, Bradley Wynne, Olga Prokopvich and Geoff Turnbull||Student Union|
|1977||23||Newspaper||Mark Vitlin, Victor Boulos, Mike Walker||Student Union|
|1978||24||28||Newspaper||Benthouse (Penthouse)||Juliette Sterne, Colin Israel and Gary Ross||Student Union|
|1979||25||28||Newspaper||Kids' Stuff||Bruce Bradbury, Nicolette Dillon, Maryella Hatfield, Jeff Holten, Graeme Tubbenhauer||Student Union|
|1980||26||27||Newspaper||Teresa Music, Bob Sheil, Bill McMahon and Stewart Lehr||Student Union|
|1981||27||14||Magazine||Eric Campbell, David Gibson, Ruth Hessey and Frances McDonald||Student Union|
|1982||28||The National Slimes (The National Times)||John Amy and Hector Hill||Student Union|
|1983||29||15||Magazine||Bradley Norington and Alex Cramb||Student Union|
|1984||30||13||Magazine||Wendy Carlisle, Alastair Walton, Susan Smith, Mark Cahill||Student Union|
|1985||31||15||Magazine||Helen Doyle, Tim Menzies, Isabelle Albert, Jan Bellis, David Cox, John Olip, Gordon Farrer, Kay Heycox||Student Union|
|1986||32||14||Magazine||The Drug Expensive (parody of Australian federal government "Drug Offensive" information kit)||Jan Bellis, Robert Cook, David Cox, Gordon Farrer, Jim Gleeson, Kay Heycox, Vicki Lee, Tim Menzies, John Olip, Michael Priest||Student Union|
|1987||Magazine||Greed Weekend (Good Weekend)||James Adams, Jan Bellis, Gordon Farrer, Phillipa McGuinness, Toni Payne, Marisa Turanzas, Carol Walsh, Sherman Young||Student Union|
|1988||Up the TV Creek (TV Week); Bastard Review Weekly (Business Review Weekly)||James Adams, Frank Blanchfield, Jacinta Crimmins, Rowena Ivins, Gita Kemath, Joanne Mazzocchi, Paul Morehouse, Phillip Morrissey, Tim Nelson, Peter Rankin||Student Union|
|1990||36||14||Magazine||Golly (Dolly)||Michael Jones Simon Ernst Freida Maher Fahmiya Haniffa Chantal Upton||Student Union|
|1991||37||14||Magazine||The Spew Age||Angus Crosby, Catriona Mackenzie, Elisia Yeo, Mary O'Connell, Nicos Souleles, Patrizia Montanari, Yvonne y Hoare||Student Union|
|1992||38||14||Magazine||Who Cares? (Who magazine)||Thomas Tork, James Hooke, Daniel Grynberg, Annie Tennant, Sascha Kelso, Tara Gutman, Robi Stanton, Melissa McGrath, Alf Conlon, Nicos Souleles, Elias Hallaj||Student Union|
|1993||39||Magazine||Stuart Guinness, Skye Reynolds, Natalie Osborne, Alf Conlon and Yaron Finkelstein||Student Guild|
|1994||40||14||Magazine||The Fake||Amanda Pullinger and Andy Cook||Student Guild|
|1995||41||13||Magazine||The Typograph Error (The Telegraph Mirror)||Pauly Wall and David Caspari||Student Guild|
|1996||42||14||Magazine||Piss Weakend (Good Weekend)||Dale Harrison and Katie Kemm||Student Guild|
|1997||43||14||Magazine||Crawling Home (Rolling Stone)||Raj Khuman and Andrew Martin||Student Guild|
|1998||44||Magazine||Trivial Geographic (National Geographic)||Philip Choi and Edward Carroll||Student Guild|
|1999||45||14||Magazine||Weekly UNSW News (Weekly World News)||Christian Harimanow||Student Guild|
|2000||46||14||Magazine||Weekly UNSW News (Weekly World News)||Michael Shane Korogiannis and Marta Jary||Student Guild|
|2001||47||10||Magazine||The Gorgeous Edition (Hello! Magazine)||Michelle Carmody and Nick Salzberg||Student Guild|
|2002||48||Magazine||Ben's Health (Men's Health)||Anthony Levin and Alex Tyrell||Student Guild|
|2003||49||13||Magazine||Nude Scientist (New Scientist)||Calen Thurston||Student Guild|
|2004||50||17||Newspaper||Foundation Day-Mart (Kmart)||Joe Stella and Kathryn Small||Student Guild|
|2005||51||Newspaper||Bowling Stoned (Rolling Stone)||Christine Tran||Student Guild|
|2006||52||Magazine||Homeboy (Playboy)||Mansha Tandon and Patrick Coyte||Student Guild|
|2007||53||10||Magazine||Notional Geographic (National Geographic)||Sophie Braham and Tom Bowes||Arc @ UNSW|
|2008||54||10||Magazine||Dumb Media (Drum Media)||Chantel Cotterell, Chris Moore, Mirza Nurkic, Rory Thomas and Scarlet Wilcock||Arc @ UNSW|
|2009||55||10||Magazine||The UnAustralian (The Australian)||Bart Cummings, Sean Lawson, Su-Min Lim||Arc @ UNSW|
|2010||56||10||Magazine||The Ecominous (The Economist)||Su-Min Lim, Matt Kwan, James Fehon, Matt Ward||Arc @ UNSW|
|2011||57||11||Magazine||Shitz (Blitz)||Cameron McPhedran, Elizabeth Stern, Kylar Loussikian||Arc @ UNSW|
|2012||58||13||Magazine||Wankie (Frankie)||Cameron McPhedran, Elizabeth Stern, Kylar Loussikian||Arc @ UNSW|
|2013||59||12||Tabloid newspaper||Theo (Cleo (magazine))||Lily Ray, Renee Griffin, Osman Faruqi||Arc @ UNSW|
|2014||60||13||Tabloid Newspaper||Ammy Singh, Freya King, Jacob Glud||Arc @ UNSW|
- O'Halloran, Brett (June 2005) "The Implications of Voluntary Student Unionism Legislation for UNSW An Issues Paper with Recommendations". Accessed Nov. 13 2006 
- Korogiannis, Michael (Nov. 2000). "Are some more equal than others?". Tharunka.
- Duffy, Michael (Nov. 13, 2004). "Forced to subsidise bad food and bullies". The Daily Telegraph.
- Conlon went on to become the founding editor of Blitz magazine
- The Telegraph Mirror changed its name the following year.
- Did not serve in the role, but retained the position. Janet Duncan was appointed to act in her place. When Tran resigned, after the deadline for a fresh election, Duncan was appointed to complete her term by Guild council.
- Tharunka website
- Interview with Wendy Bacon, Tharunka, vol. 46 (2000)
- Past issues of Tharunka are available for access at UNSW Archives